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$30.00 USD

Each year from December 1 - April 1 we accept submissions of full-length poetry (50-100 pp.) and fiction (30,000 word minimum) manuscripts for The Orison Prizes in Poetry and Fiction, judged by different prominent writers each year in an anonymous judging process.
The winning entry in each genre will be awarded publication and a $1,500 cash prize, in addition to a standard royalties contract

Finalists will be selected by the editorial staff at Orison Books, and the winners will be selected from among the finalist manuscripts by the judges. In the event that a judge in either genre does not select a winner from among the finalists, the Editor will select a winner. The editors also reserve the right to select no finalists, in which case all entry fees will be refunded to the entrants. All finalist manuscripts will be considered for publication under a standard royalties contract.

  • Original English work only; no translations.
  • Do not include your name anywhere in your manuscript file or file name, but only in your Submittable profile and cover letter. 
  • Individual poems and stories or excerpts may have been previously published in periodicals and/or chapbooks, but the manuscript as a whole must not have been published in book form, whether digital or in print. Self-published manuscripts are considered previously published and are not eligible.
  • Please include any publication acknowledgments in your cover letter, listing any periodicals where individual pieces from your manuscript first appeared. Acknowledgments should not appear in the manuscript file.
  • Fiction manuscripts may consist of short stories, a novel, a novella, flash/micro fiction, or any combination of forms, as long as the manuscript meets the 30,000 word minimum.
  • Existing Orison Books authors are not eligible for The Orison Prizes.
  • Simultaneous submissions are accepted; please notify us immediately should a manuscript be accepted for publication elsewhere.
  • Multiple manuscripts may be submitted; each manuscript must be accompanied by a separate entry fee.
  • Orison Books is committed to running ethical and transparent contests. Current or former students of the judge or the lead genre editor(s), or anyone with a close personal relationship with that judge or lead editor(s), are not eligible to submit in the category in question. Judges also never see author names until after they have made their selections. 
  • Orison Books undertakes never to extend contest deadlines, except in the case of technical problems or other events that would prevent submitters from entering the contest by the original deadline.
  • Entry Fee: $30.
  • We only accept electronic submissions, which must be sent through our Submittable page.

 2020 judges
Poetry: Katie Ford
Fiction: Samrat Upadhyay

About the judges:

Katie Ford is the author of four poetry collections: Deposition, Colosseum, Blood Lyrics, and ​If You Have to Go, all published by Graywolf Press. Blood Lyrics was a finalist for the LA Times Book Prize and the Rilke Prize. Colosseum was named among the “Best Books of 2008” by Publishers Weekly and the Virginia Quarterly Review and led to a Lannan Literary Fellowship and the Larry Levis Prize. Ford completed graduate work in theology and poetry at Harvard University, and received her MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop. Her poems have appeared in The New Yorker, Poetry, The Paris Review, The American Poetry Review, and the Norton Introduction to Literature. She teaches at the University of California, Riverside.

Samrat Upadhyay is the author of the short story collections Arresting God in Kathmandu (2001); The Royal Ghosts (2006), winner of the Asian American Literary Award; and Mad Country (2017). He is also the author of the novels The Guru of Love (2003), named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year; Buddha’s Orphans (2010), longlisted for the DSC prize in India; and The City Son (2014), shortlisted for the PEN Open Book Award. Upadhyay co-edited the anthology Secret Places: New Writing from Nepal (2001), published as a special issue of Mānoa magazine. Upadhyay is the recipient of a Whiting Award in Fiction and his books have been translated into Czech, French, German, and Greek, among other languages. He is the Martha C. Kraft Professor of Humanities at Indiana University.

We use Submittable to accept and review our submissions.